tv 1966 Fulbright Vietnam Hearings General James Gavin CSPAN February 13, 2016 10:37pm-11:51pm EST
suggest he was an impractical dreamer. course, kennan became a hero to the antiwar movement. he never agreed with the radicals, but his arguments give a lot of credence to the argument being made at the time. in 1998 they had a tribute to george kennan on the anniversary of this article. they invited dean rusk, mcnamara, monday, and clark clifford to come to analyze george kennan and they invited george kennan to respond to them in that group all agreed completely with his feet to -- thesis that he proposed in 1948 of containment and they all -- one ofh the way
the great tragedies of american -- kennan that cannon was not listened to by the policymakers in 1960 when we .ecided to go to war jamesired army general gavin presents his views on the vietnam war. this was broadcast of your he 8,e, -- broadcast february 1966. he was the only general to parachute four times with his troops in combat. he was u.s. ambassador to france for the first two years of the kennedy administration.
this is the first 70 minutes of hearing. day within of the the eisenhower administration over possible united states involvement. he served under general ridgeway then army chief of staff as the assistant chief of staff of plans and operations. who's one of them leading military strategist in postwar. . although he's now in private industry hannahs remained a thoughtful observer and commentator on military strategy in the nuclear age. general gavin has served his country very well and has a right to enjoy his retirement. we need his advice where there are very few people with his experience. we are confronted with momentous decisions in the near future and i need not tell you what the subject matter of
these decisions involves. this committee is trying to explore certain aspects of our policies upon which you can throw some light. always seek his information and enlightenment so that our the judgmentgment, of our people and this committee may be as wise as possible. this is not a novel or new approach. the senate has delegated to this committee in the first instance. it will be reviewed by the senate as a whole and the country. we have many precedents for this inquiry. on may 6, 1954, just before the fall of you and been through -- of yin bin fu, express himself clearly.
that we will express clear opinions and the policies which we have been asked to cooperate. we will insist that we and the american people be treated as adults and that we have the facts without sugarcoating. general, we are pleased to have you, will you proceed? >> yes mr. chairman. men say it's a great privilege for me to appear before this testing was committee. i look upon this -- >> they're not working. will someone fix these? which way is on? >> may i say once again, what a
great privilege it is to appear before this distinguished committee. it's a privilege for citizens to begin in the opportunity to perform first of all and second i particularly appreciate the opportunity to appear at an open hearing because i feel strongly that these issues are of the utmost importance to our people. they should hear the differing views and out of this discourse will come a coalesced and consolidated national will to get on with the work in hand. that say at the outset into the background of my point of view i have arrived at and wentssed in that magazine to true years of the service with the philippine scouts in the late 1930's and since that time considerable interest in the affairs of southeast asia at the time of the fall of the oo ian food -- of yin bin f
talked to the end and general balance -- general daniels and others about the problems. among other things -- thailand was a sensitive spot and might become a deeply involved part of southeast asia. since that one of the most interesting experiences i had was with mr. kennedy. he was confronted with a very difficult situation -- i speak from memory. the question confronting president entity was to what extent should we become involved
in land warfare in laos. i don't know but i would suspect that he had saw -- that had he saw the advice of the pentagon would've committed forces and more divisions. this made little sense and the more we talked about it, the more i agreed with him that a landlocked country remote from the application of seapower and less airpower seemed to offer a hopeless situation to us. he asked me to go to paris upon my return and enter into discussions with savanna to see if we could not convince him that we were interested in an independent laos and this is what i understood to do. with some misgivings at the outset because he had a reputation for being very close to the communists and i was not sure how our negotiations would come out.
mr. herman ably conducted negotiations parallel with my own. meetings andeight fruitful and fascinating as they were for me, we did arrive at a treaty that hopefully guaranteed the freedom neutrality and independence of laos. i was aware then as i am now that what our president saw to achieve was a clinical settlement to what appeared to be a serious military problem. he was absolutely right. we did arrive at that solution. since then, i have continued to devote a great deal of my time to matters of global strategy in our commitments. i was asked late last spring to do an article on the meeting of the atomic bomb 20 years later. this was for the early august edition of the new york times
magazine. i given a great deal of attention to the bomb in the 1940's and even then came to the conclusion that urban bombing lacked credibility. for a number of reasons not worth going into. and i further note i was denied publication at that time. i felt the problems of the bomb were quite different than simply escorting world war ii experience. as the summer came to an end, my thinking on this matter to get into the real meaning of the changes in global strategy. i did an article on this and in the midst of this i was exchanging bonds with mr. fisher and talking about sky cavalry theh was a postulation in early 1950's considered far too reticle for acceptance at the
time and is now an accepted battlefield application. so at that time, late in the summer i decided that in the view of our total spectrum of global commitments and the changing nature of global strategy we had better look hard at our vietnamese commitment. it'd become alarmingly out of balance and this was the basis for the letter that i wrote which i would be happy to come back to later. i might say that all i said in that letter was let's look where we are today, what our commitments are, what they cost and what we can do. b, what the alternatives are. what these costs might he and having done this let's make up our minds what we will do. i base this as much upon the statements of many officials that have been to that war-torn country and returned with optimistic statements only to
find they have had to change them thereafter which suggested to me that in the beginning they didn't understand what the requirements were and could not estimate accurately what the needs might be to meet those requirements. referencetter i made to hanoi and the futility of bombing and pointed out this would cause create more problems than it would cause. >> when was this general question mark still in 1962? i want to place it in time. quick this was late last year. strength --ut of my thinking about the strategy. at the moment i'm in passing touching upon the letter. the ammunition dumps tank
columns or concentrations of trucks and military targets, two, power plants and such as that, it was slowly creeping. i wanted to lay this at rest once and for all in all time. per se forg a city psychological -- for psychological reasons achieves little in the way of military effect. today it could be extremely damaging in the court of world opinion i want to be sure i had that. just bombing would not solve anything. theready talked a bit about matter of global strategy into which i would like to fit vietnam. two of the most significant things that happened in our time have been the bomb and the space x duration what both of which have tremendous military significance. it's a very interesting case in
point because the first question we asked ourselves was the meeting of the bomb. was it the beginning of a new age? in which the adam would solve our military problems as we had been unable to solve them in the indeed the end? i suspected it first it would be the end. at first i thought it was a minority opinion but now i am absolutely satisfied. as man has saw to impose his will on his opponents he has saw to it do it in every way that he could get it. from metallic pellets inspired by charges to the fusion of the adam itself. ins finally succeeded bringing down explosions that take place on the surface of the sun, fission. he has brought the energy of the
cosmos itself to the earth. he can no longer use it because it could destroy a major segment of the human race. end of a search to impose his will on his fellow man. that search has terminated and now he must find more discreet means. greater mobility and rapid data transmission will stop he must know what is going on everywhere as quickly as he can find out to keep it under control and thus avoid a major catastrophe that might occur if nuclear weapons were used. if this is so and it is truly a concept in which i do ask you to share agreement i'm grateful for the opportunity to express it if this is so then for the first time in human history something very unusual is happening in warfare and i believe that it
has. has to do with those measures you take short of war that make absolute victory certain. if war occurs inadvertently your sure to win. it seems to me now on the best analysis i have been able to make -- >> i did not understand. >> if war occurs inadvertently if your strategy is right you will win out give you examples of that. i would say if i may that i've given a great deal of thought and done writing on the subject. science at political the university of california four weeks in 1964 on a sabbatical. i have not come to these conclusions casually as they represent for me considerable effort and thought. that our strategy
today should be based upon first of all a dynamic viable economy. an economy that can export much for new real skills managerial techniques dollars or acquisitions, ventures abroad to help other people. we have developed a way of life that provides an abundance of means for our people and we should continue to export this just as aggressively as we can to help other people. i'm not talking about economic colonialism. for the enlightened fitness man trying to help other people help themselves. people are not born equal nor our nations born equal and they need help to achieve a place for their people. we have been doing extremely well in this respect. i'm talking in this context of the strategy. but it seems to me, for example
great booksof the on decisive battles -- the 15 decisive battles -- were it to be rewritten today waiting clued the donees of mr. khrushchev who sought to coexist within his own to tell a terry and system based on planning and not market demand, who failed because he could not get the green grown and to that have the fertilizer and his economy could not produce. characteristically this happens in a failing strategy and he saw attacked the gamut to recoup. with the cuba and a great adventure that thanks to our secretary of defense he was defeated in. i would say that his demise is one of the decisive setbacks in all of history and i think that now in my personal opinion that our efforts to work closely with
the soviet people should be rewarded. and in the present state of the union message making changes to encourage trade is a good thing. deal done a great exporting professors entertainers and scientists. i think we can go a long way together. it was a turning point. further, thatay strategy today is in the realm of science and technology. out of science we are producing an abundance of new knowledge that can energize our economy and keep it moving. and very briefly, in the court of world opinion, world opinion area thathave the will have a great deal to do with what we may do. i would draw the parallel of the
use of energy and power through the many centuries of human existence when people were restrained by their fellow men and what they could do to do many things even city states restrained with their armed forces could do in this nation has shrunk to the point today where we simply cannot do all the things we would like to do. i've always felt that one of our greatest captains of all time was general macarthur and yet even he had to come to realize and learn the hard way that the use of a nuclear bomb because we had them in our arsenal could not be permitted under his mandate from the united nations. it was sickly and intolerable thing. i've touched upon three areas of strategy that i believe are of overriding importance. my concern therefore for vietnam first became aroused when i
found us cutting back in our global commitments and the relevant economics. i began to suspect that the escalation in southeast asia was beginning to hurt our strategic position. if this has significance now, it may have tremendous significance in the long run. what weturned back and are doing in world affairs through economic endeavors to support a tactical confrontation that appears to be escalating, we are in dangerous territory and for this reason what we are doing deserves looking at. there are several areas where confrontations occurred tactically. i mentioned cuba. europe is one today. our tactics in
europe are far in excess of our needs. to get to asia, the korean commitment is one that we must maintain and we are maintaining. of changt -- support kai-shek likewise. southeast asia is a very volatile and endemic area of operations. vietnam was not alone. thailand i look on as a very dangerous area and one that we should regard seriously at this time. in looking at it i raised some questions. what do we have today and what can they do. i stated they would have sufficient forces to hold areas along the coast.
-- don't butput a core it should still be open a bit at the ends. ordon, but it should still he opened at the ends. this appears to me to be incredibly costly and manpower and national wealth. and i to the conclusion think this is important. charges have been made about what i have said and i quote we must do the best we can with the forces we have deployed in
vietnam now. i did not say withdraw or attack or do anything else. we must do the best we have with what we have in hand. keep in mind the true meaning of global strategy and world affairs today. economic science, technology and world opinion will serve strategic interests well if we handle our resources wisely. tacticalher hand, mistakes could be disastrously costly. since the advent of the space age there has been a revolution in the nature of global conflict. the confrontation in vietnam is our first test in the understanding of such change or our lack of it will stop the measures we now take must stem from sagacity, thoughtfulness, restraint and an awareness in the changing strategy in this rapidly shrinking world.
mr. chairman perhaps at this point i might say nothing further and i would be very pleased to have an opportunity to answer any questions that may be addressed. >> thank you very much general. i think that your review of the overall strategy is very useful and speaking for myself not being a military man and has great appeal. but i would not wish to pass judgment on it further than that will stop i believe general that you had something to do with the study of indochina. about 1954 when you are working with the general. >> yes sir, i was the chief of plans developed in the beginning of early 54 and i stayed in that position for several years. in theyou participate
study that general ridgway ordered relative to the feasibility of, at that time entering in to indochina? >> yes mr. chairman, we consider the advisability of entering the hanoi delta and as i recall, we talked about the need and many engineer battalions. we anticipated environmental losses would be very great and there was some talk about the significance of hanoi island if we would go into the delta. we give it quite thorough consideration. book onneral ridgway's page 276 he says -- i would read it to see if you would comment on it. general ridgway's statement, i felt it was essential that all who had any influence in making the decision on this grave matter should be
aware of all the factors involved. a lot of these facts i sent out to indochina, a team of experts in every field. engineers, communication specialists medical officers and experience combat leaders who knew how to evaluate in terms of battle tactics. the area that they found was practically devoid of those facilities which modern forces such as ours find essential to the waging of war. telecommunications, highways and railways all the things that make possible the operation of a modern combat force on land were almost nonexistent. the facilities and airfields were totally inadequate and to provide facilities we would need would require tremendous engineering and logistic efforts . on page 277 he writes, we could have fought in indochina and we could have one if we had been
willing to pay the tremendous cost and men and money that such intervention would have required, a cost in my opinion that would've eventually been as great as or greater than that we had in korea. in korea we learned that air and naval power alone would not win a war and inadequate ground forces cannot win when either. it was incredible to me that we had lost this bitter lesson so soon, that we were on the verge of making that same tragic error. that error was not repeated. as soon as the full report was in i lost no time in having it passed on up to full chain of command. it reached president eisenhower. it was clear. the idea of intervening was abandoned and it is my belief that the analysis which the army made played a considerable and perhaps decisive part in persuading our government not to
embark on that tragic adventure. >> general, as far as you know, are the conditions in indochina different today than they were at that time? >> there is one basic difference sir. he was talking about going into the toy delta and write to the chinese frontier which certainly meant the immediate intervention of chinese opposition. other than that i would say conditions are not essentially different although this was an important point, too. i should say that in the way of background there is more than a cold piece of paper in this type of planning. we spent a lot of time worrying about it certainly i did. hits considerable combat experience of a new that i would be responsible for the planning, conduct of operations and i divulged a great deal of talk colleagues who had
considerable experience in southeast asia and china. we finally decided that what we were talking about doing was going to war with china under the conditions that were appallingly disadvantageous. murtagh not going to war with her thousands of miles from the heart of her were making -- of our warmaking capacity and it frankly made little sense to the men that had to do the fighting. i was more than pleased to see general ridgway take the initiative and it took moral courage to do it and say let's take a look at this. >> do you think the conditions in south vietnam, the conditions mentioned in this statement are more favorable to conduct of the war the north vietnam? is the terrain more favorable, are the conditions more favorable is the terrain easier to maneuver? >> there is one factor.
>> the communication lines would come from china and supply would be much longer so there was a bit of an advantage but this is of almost minimal import. environmental conditions are no doubt just as costly and south vietnam as it would've been a north vietnam. mightr conclusion was it probably lead to a confrontation with china and i would take it that you felt and general ridgway felt that this was not a wise thing to undertake. do you see any reason it would be wiser today? say the't but i would initiative is that of the chinese. >> what do you mean by that? >> i think the confrontation will occur when and where they choose to make it occur.
for this reason -- >> are you saying the initiative was with the chinese? >> could you repeat the question ? >> he did say the initiative is now with the chinese. next i feel that in vietnam today yes. that's what i said a moment ago and this makes me uneasy. not occurring is out of our will as much as it is ofresponse to the commitment an opponent with just a quick supported by the chinese. there may be variations of new wants to this but i feel that the confrontation with the chinese israel and a compelling fact of life today. i'm uneasy about and over response in vietnam. we could get ourselves so deeply involved as to lack the capability that we should have. in korea if it were reopened, and thailand if it became very serious and then fitting us into the spectrum i am concerned
because international strategic position is being eroded badly. so the choice is not whether or but towill be in vietnam use good judgment and discretion in what we do there. that is what i maintain that we should do. >> it is a little bit subtle about the initiative being in the hands of the chinese. if our escalation is confined or if it doesn't take place in north vietnam it certainly would minimize the risk of chinese entry. the chinese are not now presley engaged in this war directly? >> not directly except through additional support. i would be happy if the initiative were entirely ours and we could do just as we pleased and things are cut back as we see fit. >> why can't we?
>> i think we have try to and has successfully increased our commitment for reasons that seem to be out of our control. >> what are the reasons that make it beyond our control? >> our secretary of defense should be quite ready to answer a question of that sort. we first sent trainees and then we felt we had to do the same with combat advisors. we had to send troops to protect our aces? why did we have to do all of this? what was the irresistible force? ask it was the judgment of our secretary of defense this had to be done and i'm not questioning why he exercised that judgment i'm just technology it is an historical fact that it has been done. >> the fact it has been done does not necessarily mean it we had no choice. to me and several
instances there was the freedom of choice. this was rather a strong country anything we could have some control over whether we proceed or not proceed in this area. x i would say so? >> of this is where it loses me that we thought we had to do this. there is an inevitability about it from your statement that i cannot see. have to,s we did not we could have stopped at any point along the way. >> if i understand general ridgway's statement he said we could do this and we could win but the cost was out of proportion to what we could gain. >> that's true. 54 would you agree with it now. >> sure. >> i don't see any great change in the circumstances between 1954 and the present that would warrant a different conclusion from the study that you made. >> as i pointed out in the
theater to the men doing the fighting it's of little difference there but is not great significance as far as our commitment goes. >> this question of commitment is another question that perhaps i should not ask you. you did not make any commitment, did you? >> no i didn't. >> i have many other questions. we are very good attendance this morning and i shall reserve mind for later on. gavin, i share with other members of this committee great admiration that we have for you and your work and the respect for your views and any questions i pertaining to it are not to be taken as critical. but trying to get to the basic
facts. the reasoning in this case. article published in harper's. i have also read the newspaper stories reporting on a speech that you made in new york? or was it a speech? anyway, you said there had been a misconstruction of your views advocatedid not stopping the bombing. is that right? >> that's right. >> you did advocate holding out for a time. >> i noticed in the article desist.ou used the term on the other hand, if we should maintain enclaves on the coast, desist our attacks in north
vietnam and seek to find a solution through the united nations, was that to be taken as meaning that you simply meant to pause in the bombing until you had a chance to take it to the united nations? letter to the editor december 3. that's a long time ago and when written it seems barred and remote indeed from the scenario. at that time it seems to me that first of all, what is the head off any idea that urban bombing was the answer to our problem. that's why i made specific reference to hunt white and peaking. i didn't say stop word cease or give it up. i said slow down and take a look at the situation. >> my thinking is that desist means to stop. but it may not mean permanently. is that your meeting? >> yes. i would be happy to talk about it and i feel this way about it.
if the gentleman has a mission to carry out i see no reason for restricting his bombing of military targets whatsoever. for combat forces in combat weapons that come into his area he our young men deserve that support. be very uneasy in late november when we were bombing the our plants and i could see us beginning to bomb cities where women and children and noncombatants might lose their lives in great numbers and we begin slowly to creep into urban bombing which is why i said let's desist now and take a look at this whole situation. what our commitment is perhaps we can find an opponent -- an approach. >> this is what i meant by that. >> unlike to have that exultation. i think that staple of misunderstanding in the way it is worded. >> that's the problem with
writing something tightly that is not too long for people to read. >> i'm glad to hear your answer about bombing military objectives and i was going to answer that question. -- d you include >> i do not know enough about it. i would have to know more about the conditions of the harper. mined ore it could be otherwise blockaded. >> it could just be done away with since it is a major port of entry. >> that would be true of any military objective? >> i would say so. >> but barring civilian centers. >> that's right. >> i think that is a very clear statement and a very good statement. you do say that in the meantime, we must do the best we can with
the forces we have deployed in vietnam keeping in mind the true meaning of strategy and global affairs. another what you are advocating maintain the force at its present level? >> that is exactly what i said sir. >> may i elaborate on this? find that for to fiscal year 67 we are going to $10.5 billion in vietnam. this is as a citizen who has devoted a lifetime to our global edition and the nature of global conflict. at this point is worth disinvestment of our resources, are we not becoming too mesmerized with this? are we not losing sight of the total global picture? i recommend that we make do with what we have.
could we do better with what we have? i don't know. we have many commitments in many areas along the coast and in land. it might be possible in a purely dietary sense to redeploy resources. towould be certainly unwise maintain status quote and just sit there and do nothing. to do the best with what we have. hearings,macarthur general bradley one-time used an expression in reference to a land war which he said would be the wrong war in the wrong place at the wrong time. you hold somewhat to that view? >> i can only speak for myself but i think he was referring to
the war in manchuria. are involved in southeast asia now and our young men are doing a splendid job. i do not think the armed forces have done a better job right if the outset and we must given the best support that we can. i could not quite agree with that as john bradley once expressed. you do point out in your article that if we are going to have a war with red china it ought to be in the men sharia area? uria area?he manch >> to be perfectly honest, i would say if china brings on herself a global war, the place to fight her is not southeast asia but the place where you can take the real heart of her
warmaking capacity and this is the manchurian area. >> there is one statement in your article that seems to me to be of considerable importance and concern where you say if the chinese client -- communists consider -- continue on their present course of aggression and continue to develop more devastating weapons, the time may, when china will ring upon herself a nuclear war. do you believe that? >> of course i do. >> do you think that is likely? >> i don't know. well. nuclear weapons in 1947i attended our nuclear weapons school and went to operation greenhouse in the pacific where the first h-bomb trigger was fired as well as the 50 k weapon.
one gains tremendous respect for these weapons once you know the real capabilities and i think the soviets understand this. i would hope that the chinese would begin to understand it. for example they have said and i have here the source of the quote. it wasn't from mr. ma or one of his staff, what does it matter if they lose a couple hundred billion people there are still 300 million more. this is very primitive thinking that is quite unreal. his problem would be catastrophic beyond belief. i hope he will learn this in time. the meantime, judging by what they say and how they behave, they are quite aggressive and what they are doing. this may relate to their position to united nations. there is no doubt that they are very aggressive right now.
>> i saw a tv program a couple of nights ago telling about the showing of how the situation was handled. it took the british 12 years to clean that up. >> they didn't good job of it and i touched upon it here and there in my service and we talked about how well they did. withhad a unique position the peninsula really cutting it off and then they could control the environment. we have an entirely different following in southeast asia. >> if i remember correctly, secretary rusk made a statement -- or it may not have been him but that we were going after -- we were not going to wait for the viet cong to come to us, we were going after them and had to pull them out one at a time. what they did, isn't it? >> i don't know. i really don't know.
i think you have an entirely different thing in vietnam than malaysia. >> i notice you quoted -- here in an article in the evening star. -- i do not see it now, but you said -- oh yes. general gavin, a former ambassador to france said he now wishes he had not written the letter. >> no. i was asked in the context of the problems i had in the last two weeks how i felt about it and i must say it is unbearable. i don't know when in my life i have had such techniques used against me where i am charged with having said things i did not say and then the charge having been made i'm attacked for having sent them. , had been accused of receiving wanting to withdraw, being a
turtle and wanting to hold and i have said none of these things are recommended none of these things but worst -- worth than this is being charged with these views and -- i almost look upon it more seriously than vietnam itself. if this is the state of our government, where in the world are we going? >> i understand everything about you. [laughter] stand on the letter . >> absolutely. every idea i believe in and i stand behind every word and it. chairman.ou mr. general gavin, with your experience and service to your country in various capacities
i'm sure that we welcome your the opportunity of discussing them with you and perhaps especially because of the confusion that has risen about the interpretation of what you really mean and what you really set. time is limited and we have a vote on the floor at 11:00 so i will try to not take up all my time. do i understand that you advocate that we hold what we have -- that is a broad statement? . but that if we hold what we have that we not attempt to extend or expand our physical control of the areas of vietnam except by peaceful means? >> there is a not too subtle
point involved in the use of language here. when i wrote that we were apparently escalating at a rather steady rate. some writers were saying we may need to double this to 500,000. they were even talking about a million men and some colonists. i felt at the time had come to take a reappraisal of where we beingeeling that we were initiative -- initiated not of our own will and judgment but of the initiative of an opponent and i did say let's take a look at what we now have their what we can do with what we have and see if we cannot find another solution to this problem because the alternative is quite clear. we can go to three quarters of a million men if we do this we must understand that these are the implications. a lookd say let's take
at where we are today and what we can do with what we have and see if we cannot find a solution. ownegardless of your what do youires ofceived to be the objective our country and what ever allies we may have and the activities in south vietnam today? how do you understand it? >> noah has told me this. it is my impression -- no one has told me this. it is my impression we are seeking to establish a government chosen by the people of south vietnam that can operate freely without interference by the vietcong. that's all. we have no desire to stay there. we want them to have a good government. >> under the history of the last two to three years, do you
believe that would have the possibility of being accomplished by holding what we have now and not attempting to escalate in any way? >> i'm really not sure. i was led to believe a year or two ago that this was quite possible. i don't know. i decide i better worry a little bit more about this now. there is much talk now if we cannot do it with what we have, where are we going? i would like to know what the cost is. it could be a sound military investment. >> do you consider this to be primarily a military operation or is it basically apolitical operation? -- or is it basically a political operation? >> certainly a has become
military almost entirely now. when we were providing advisors, it was really a political problem. the commitment of military forces on both sides has made it overwhelmingly a military problem. i guess this -- refers to what i said about laos. if we could solve political conditions in vietnam, the military problem would disappear. too late for that now. >> at the present time, it seems to indicate that the viet cong control more than 50% of the land in south vietnam. i don't know what the percentages, we get various estimates.
followed the policy -- of using your word, the system in on our military activities, standing fast or holding, what would keep the viet cong from running riot over the rest of south vietnam? >> it is to assisting in application the bombing. the use of the land forces in any way it we can use them effectively should be carried out. >> that would be different mostly to jungle fighting? >> that is what it is today. >> i am interested in your comments upon bombing the military objectives, military targets. ones my understanding that of the ultimate actions of a war on either side -- if they cannot
win quick victories right in the field is to attack the enemy's at his basis of strength. his production facilities. the things that feed the war machine. i would think that it would include power plants, canals, railroads and all manner of things. factories that produce the tools of war for his armies. i don't understand why power plants should be excluded. >> i must say that i look upon this is one of the great illusions of all time. i think that the results of this strategic bombing survey which is our bombing went
up until we overridden facilities -- i don't think you can hold land by bombing it or really when the bombing -- or really win the bombing. >> that has been an undisputed military theory for a long time that you can take ground by certain means but cannot hold it without men on the ground. >> that's right. >> before the airplane came into great comets that you could take ground artillery but you could not hold it entity put men on the ground. >> the airplane to me is transportation. in use of the airplane vietnam today is sensational in its effectiveness. the big hercules and the .elicopter they are absolutely indispensable what bombing is another matter. don't like to get into , butssional arguments here
i assume that was referring to your article in the february issue of harper magazine. , he comments in this speech that if we don't succeed in efficacytnam then the of a war of liberation will be established and proved. i take it this would follow that we could expect more attempts to force the duration around the world in various places if this succeeded in south vietnam. then he announced -- read this paragraph. allegedly a direct quote from the speech. general taylor says that this country cannot escape its
destiny as the champion of the free world. there is no running away from it. has much in common with the yearning for safety beyond the defenses at our coastlines and is equally illusory. i assume that you are fairly familiar with this speech? >> it purported to be a copy. >> probably the same that i have. it seems to me that regardless of how, or when, or what got us into this situation, it seems to as aat our presence there most formidable part of the free
beyond they go far question of winning a battle. it is an ideological struggle that we are facing at that point. would you agree? win thatnot ideological battle, what will happen to american prestige in africa, south africa, asia, indonesia, and the philippines? what do you think about the effect? >> would you include cuba? >> it looks to me like cuba has been pretty well conceded to the communists already. >> we go halfway around the world to worry about them so much and leave cuba go 90 miles from the shore. >> i agree there is some
criticism on that but we are not there now. [laughter] where are talking about the old communist philosophy that the way to paris is by way of taking eking. i assume that you base your question upon the statements made by general taylor. find deeply disturbing. but he richard it's to meet a holding strategy, a cessation of bombing, a halt to united states enforcements. a withdrawal which would lead to a crushing defeat, a capitulation, the abandoning of many people, a retreat. it would be disastrous. i don't understand this.
this to me is the technique i find so devastating. you asked why you feel like this and why you say these things in defend yourself against things you did not say. i don't think he read what i wrote. >> i think that is one of the purposes here to clarify what this situation is. appear.ime is >> on the matters of war and liberation, the serious import of course. yet i worry that since the initiative may be that of the that we musteel rise to each confrontation with every natural resource and if the this then and there with all that we have. i have no doubt that our system will triumph. no question in my mind about it. what i want is to see my nation act restrained -- to wisely show
restraint and act wisely and well around these confrontations. i think were doing quite well in vietnam and i worry about going further. what it means to the chinese does not worry me half as much as all the other things that could happen to us. >> may i say that we are informed of the floor there will be a vote at 11:15. at 11:40 andvene run to 1255 and then come back at 2:30. that's the best i can give you in information now. >> general i want to say that not only do i think that this committee owes you a great debt
for the distinguished public service you have rendered summary times in the past and for what might be the greatest service you have rendered yet is your testimony this morning. you demonstrated what it means in a democracy to inform the people through public sessions. i hope there will be those in thereministration because is that a single person that has any desire or intention of asking anyone, be it the secretary of defense or the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff or anyone else a question that involves security of this republic and having set to these hearings for many years, they know that all the had to say and it given -- given time, that particular question is automatically laid aside. we have been talking basic
policies with you this morning and the american people are entitled to have them discussed in public by anyone coming before us. fornd i want to thank you this great service you have rendered to the company. my first question will deal with a concern that you expressed throughout your testimony at various times this morning. way, it seems to me that your concern about where we may end up, vis-a-vis, china. we have to face the general question of policy. we cannot stick our heads in this stand and say there is no danger of a war in china. i hope they have enough sense not to involve themselves in a nuclear war, but who knows.
suppose we get in a war with and and we do the bombing their industrial complex and they still carry on on the ground. what is your estimation of how many american troops will have to stand over and what are the stages of that war? >> that is quite a complex question i would like to be fully responsive to it. much would depend on the theater and where they would half to go. i sometimes wonder what the theater slice is for vietnam. if the major confrontation were to occur, operating out of korea , we could probably do quite well with double the portions we had in korea.
the question does not lend itself to specific answers. >> it's important that this public hearing that questions be raised. >> we now have it in southeast it's notr triple that, true judging from the argument had in the past that it would take hundreds of thousands of men who fight through china in the ground whether you do it in mitch area or move up through south korea to the border of china. >> if the commitment began with chinese volunteers, followed by some semblance of semiregular forces, i would say that our commitment would escalate very
rapidly to double and double again the forces in southeast asia just to save themselves. >> the horrible cost of a could to get the final surrender. and our occupation in china? that far down the road in total conflict you would .ertainly involve the ussr you would seek to move. into the vacuum of magnolia but china. further confrontations of successive following. >> i suspect with your brilliant mind you are way ahead of me. i will terry a bit longer on my last question. assuming russia doesn't come in and it is the united states
versus china, after we force them to surrender but it will still be china, devastated as it is, would it be possible to automatically withdraw our ?roops and go home doubt that they would be hundreds of millions of chinese left. he would be in dire straits, very ill from the effects of the use of nuclear weapons. the base of food production and food availability in the economy. the agriculture would be laid flat and i assume we take some responsibility for trying to get the situation straightened out. would be a very appalling problem to have to deal with that. >> would that be a drain on the economic resources of wallace the manpower of our country?
manpowerces of all the of our country? >> yes, it would. >> i'm surprised the number of people wanted to russia not to come in. we have a duty of giving some thought to the problem if she does, in, what our position would be then. on theia should come in basis that she has a security pact with china or any other reason, do you think russia would fight us in china? or which he fight us in new york city and chicago and washington? >> russia will always fight where it is to her advantage to do so. the policies of stalin are still present. perhaps latent, but there. if she saw clearly an opportunity to achieve greater
control and greater amounts of would go ahead and seek her advantage into northern china where ever it would be. this is another matter. i think she had great respect for our nuclear weapons. >> is a contingency we should be aware of and other present. >> let me ask one more question. you hope and responsive the senator about what we might do if we escalated the war and to hunt and the harbor -- into hanoi or the harbor? have youight blockaded ever thought as to the position of noncombatant countries in respect to their flags would be if we blockaded the harbor?
thed you name for us neutral or noncombatant nation that would lower the flag to that blockade? >> i think we would be in very serious trouble. would be no better than its enforceability? >> that's right. >> do you know of a time that the union jack has ever been lowered that the british empire was not party to? i know of none and this matter has come up in the past. we worried about dealing with some of these problems of china. i know that this a very difficult thing and it would probably be impossible to enforce. to lowerrussia be able that blockade? >> i doubt it. >> if they sank the first russian ship that was not lowered to that blockade, with they sent us a valentine in february or a bomb?
critics of the war and members of the johnson administration in hearings televised live to the nation. that is monday at 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. eastern time. only on c-span3. >> road to the white house began in iowa. the caucuses date back to 1972 and then new hampshire, the quintessential first in the nation primary. now we begin to test the candidates and their message. carolina, the first southern primary and then the party caucuses in nevada for the democrats and republicans. we'll see a lot of candidates drop out of the race in the field will narrow and then we moved to early march. super tuesday which means the delegate count will be critical and has me watch it continue for the